Trump ad­viser apol­o­gizes

Trudeau on Trump: We sup­port North Korea ef­forts, won’t en­gage on com­ments

The Beacon Herald - - NATIONAL NEWS -

OTTAWA — Don­ald Trump’s trade ad­viser is apol­o­giz­ing for say­ing there’s a “spe­cial place in hell” for Prime Min­is­ter Justin Trudeau be­cause of his “bad-faith diplo­macy” dur­ing the G7 sum­mit in Que­bec.

Peter Navarro says his job was to send a “sig­nal of strength” af­ter Trudeau’s post- G7 news con­fer­ence sent the U.S. pres­i­dent into a fit of pique that threw the sum­mit into dis­ar­ray.

How­ever, Navarro says he used in­ap­pro­pri­ate lan­guage in try­ing to con­vey that mes­sage.

He made the apol­ogy — some­thing that for­mer U.S. am­bas­sador to Canada Bruce Hey­man, among oth­ers, was de­mand­ing that he do — dur­ing a Wall Street Jour­nal event Tues­day in Washington.

Ear­lier, Trump elab­o­rated on his abrupt Twit­ter out­burst as he de­parted the sum­mit Satur­day, telling a news con­fer­ence in Sin­ga­pore that Trudeau’ s as­ser­tion that Canada “will not be pushed around” would end up cost­ing Cana­di­ans “a lot of money.”

Ear­lier to­day, Trudeau cheered Trump’s bid to bro­ker a deal to rid the Korean Penin­sula of nu­clear weapons, but he stayed mum on the U.S. ad­min­is­tra­tion’s per­sis­tent trash talk.

Navarro, for his part, sug­gested that he was fol­low­ing or­ders — but made a poor choice of words in do­ing so. “My job was to send a sig­nal of strength,” he said. “The prob­lem was that in con­vey­ing that mes­sage I used lan­guage that was in­ap­pro­pri­ate.

“I own that, that was my mis­take, those were my words.”

Trudeau said the Lib­eral govern­ment looks for­ward to the de­tails of the agree­ment that emerged from Mon­day’s his­toric meet­ing be­tween Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

“We sup­port the con­tin­u­ing ef­forts by the pres­i­dent on North Korea, (and) we look for­ward to look­ing at the de­tails of the agree­ment,” Trudeau said.

“On (Trump’s) com­ments, I’m go­ing to stay fo­cused on de­fend­ing jobs for Cana­di­ans and sup­port­ing Cana­dian in­ter­ests.”

Trump took to Twit­ter aboard Air Force 1 on Satur­day to call Trudeau “dis­hon­est” and “weak” af­ter see­ing Trudeau’s G7 news con­fer­ence, when the prime min­is­ter said he had pushed back against the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion’s hefty tar­iffs on steel and alu­minum.

Trump says he watched that news con­fer­ence on his way to Sin­ga­pore, and was up­set be­cause he thought he and Trudeau had had a pos­i­tive meet­ing in Charlevoix.

Trump says Trudeau “prob­a­bly didn’t know that Air Force 1 has about 20 tele­vi­sions.

“I see the tele­vi­sion and he’s giv­ing a news con­fer­ence about how he ‘will not be pushed around’ by the United States. And I say, ‘Push him around? We just shook hands!’ ” Trump said.

“We finished the (G7) meet­ing and re­ally ev­ery­body was happy.”

Trump has con­sis­tently railed against what he claims are un­fair trade prac­tices by some of Amer­ica’s big­gest trade part­ners, in­clud­ing Canada — in par­tic­u­lar Canada’s sup­ply man­age­ment sys­tem, which lev­els tar­iffs of up to 300 per cent on im­ported dairy prod­ucts.

“It’s very un­fair to our farm­ers, and it’s very un­fair to the peo­ple of our coun­try,” he said. “It’s very un­fair, and it’s very un­fair to our work­ers, and I’m gonna straighten it out. And it won’t even be tough.”

On Mon­day, MPs in the House of Com­mons ap­proved a mo­tion de­nounc­ing Trump’s name-call­ing tirade and en­dors­ing Trudeau’s de­ci­sion to stand his ground against U.S. tar­iffs and tweeted pres­i­den­tial threats.

The mo­tion calls on the House to rec­og­nize the im­por­tance of Canada’s “long-stand­ing, mu­tu­ally ben­e­fi­cial trading re­la­tion­ship” with the U.S., “strongly op­pose” the “il­le­git­i­mate tar­iffs” im­posed on steel and alu­minum, stand “in sol­i­dar­ity” with the Trudeau govern­ment’s de­ci­sion to im­pose re­tal­ia­tory tar­iffs and re­main united in sup­port of the sup­ply man­age­ment sys­tem of reg­u­lat­ing Canada’s dairy and poul­try in­dus­try.

And it con­cludes with a direct shot at Trump, call­ing on the House to “re­ject dis­parag­ing and ad hominem state­ments by U.S. of­fi­cials which do a dis­ser­vice to bi­lat­eral re­la­tions and work against ef­forts to re­solve this trade dis­pute.”

For­mer Con­ser­va­tive cabi­net min­is­ter James Moore, a mem­ber of the govern­ment’s ad­vi­sory group on NAFTA, hailed Trudeau’s ap­proach, re­fus­ing to re­act to “the noise, the blus­ter, the Twit­ter, the emo­tional out­bursts.”

JUSTIN TANG/THE CANA­DIAN PRESS

Prime Min­is­ter Justin Trudeau rises dur­ing ques­tion pe­riod on Par­lia­ment Hill in Ottawa on Tues­day.

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